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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Adam is determined to beat me at Chess. He's been trying since he was ten years old. Years ago, I'd play with him each weekend. I never explain my moves, nor do I give hints. I think it's much more fun to learn on one's own. Darrin disagrees with me. He thinks I just enjoy winning. He doesn't seem to understand that winning against a child is not really a victory.

Adam and I played tonight for the first time in a couple of years. He's been practicing with other players, playing online, and reading tips and I have to admit, he's getting better. Our game lasted ten minutes this time. Adam is very bright, he just doesn't think ahead, and he forgets to use what he knows about his opponent to help him predict which moves might be played next. Admittedly, the last part wouldn't help him in our games. I start one strategy, then make a few random moves (when I know he's feeling frustrated and distracted) and change to a different one. Adam does not adapt well.

I am not an amazing Chess player. I like to play. I think it's fun. If I play against a stranger I win sometimes. Adam believes I'm the best player ever born. He will remain convinced of this until the day he finally beats me--and it will happen. He cares more than I do about winning, so it's inevitable that eventually I will lose.

I don't necessarily know why I'm thinking about this tonight.

Friday marked one more angry time. I hate those. Anger is uncomfortable. It seems impossible to wade through past without feeling it, though. I suppressed the emotion throughout the day, then when Adam went to work, I sent Tabitha and Darrin on a date. I told them I needed alone time (which was true, in a way). I tried writing about the emotions. I tried working, cleaning, practicing, reading. Nothing worked. The anger was going nowhere.

Finally I called Tolkien Boy and wept and ranted at him for the better part of 45 minutes. I do this type of thing with TB more often than I ought, for the simple reason that he allows it. And when I'm finished he doesn't hate me. I'm guessing most of what I say makes no sense, but he pretends I'm speaking intelligently anyway. I'm fairly certain I sound insane and hysterical. Fortunately, he interacts with me in that state often, so it probably just seems normal to him. Someday he and I should have a conversation when I'm not overwrought, just to allow him a basis of comparison.

Often, following my tirade to my innocent bystander friend, I feel guilty relief and the anger goes away. Today it's still lingering. The anger is centered around my cousins, Jeff and David.

When Jeff called me in September, for the first time in my life I stopped feeling crazy. Because no matter how deeply I knew that my memory was authentic and real, having someone else corroborate it validated my story. However, to have it validated by finding out that someone I cared for deeply had experienced the same pain and violation as my own was devastating. I can't seem to stop being angry about this.

When Jeff provided details which proved the things David had done to us were not only calculated, but that he had tried to prod Jeff into participating in raping me--and to repeat that treatment on one of my sisters--I became more angry; I also felt a great despair. Part of me has always hoped that what happened to me was just some weird, random, depraved act of an oversexed teen. I wanted it to be opportunistic. I don't know why it seems so much more heinous to know it was planned carefully, carried out on both Jeff and me, and then the plan was to encourage Jeff to perpetrate similar acts on my sister and me. I can't seem to stop feeling that the acts have now become even more deeply painful. I can't stop being angry about this information.

Jeff was a rape victim. That was bad enough. But when David suggested that Jeff should rape me, Jeff became physically ill. I've never seen him so sick. His body temperature was 103 degrees and would not respond to Tylenol or Ibuprofin. He couldn't eat without vomiting. He stopped talking to anyone--even to me. Within hours of the onset of fever, Jeff was on his way back to his home in Utah. I was angry with him for leaving me. At the same time, I was terrified that Jeff, the family member I loved best, would one day learn what David had done to me and think terrible things about me. That thought has stayed with me through all the subsequent years. What I didn't know is that Jeff was terrified that I would find out he knew what was happening to me and rather than getting help, he got sick and went home leaving me to cope with David by myself. Those respective fears have impeded Jeff's and my desire to be a part of each others lives for many years. I can't even express how angry this makes me.

I suppose the thing which angers me the most is that I can think of no satisfactory way to deal with all of this. I can't make it better. It's just a frustrating, crappy, situation. Even appropriate punishment for David cannot compensate for what he took from us.

Screaming helps a little bit--at least temporarily.

The truth is, I'm going to make it through this. I'll probably do it with a great deal more grace and dignity than such a situation warrants. And I'll make the best of my renewed relationship with Jeff and we'll enjoy each other and make new memories. I'm going to be okay--and probably that's the thing that makes me angrier than anything else.

That doesn't make sense, I know. Nothing makes sense tonight, and I have an overwhelming urge to punch someone. I won't. I just want to.

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